Tuesday, 28 September 2010

Happy Birthday Isabella

Its Izzy's birthday today and I can't believe that she is five. She acts like shes 14 sometimes!! She had a fairy princess party at the weekend with her friend Erin who was also five last week. They had a fab time decorating tiaras, making necklaces and generally getting covered with glitter. Check out that bling!

I'd like to say that I made the cake....but I'd be lying!

Happy Birthday Izzy. My clever, funny, beautiful daughter.

Monday, 27 September 2010

Spreading the love

Remember my Swap Shop post?

Well I ended up swapping fabric with Jane who received my unloved Erin McMorris (Weekends Lilyrose Grey) fabric and in return I received this gorgeous Tufted Tweets (Avian Therapy in Grass) fabric.

Now Jane is obviously much more motivated than me because she has already made this fabulous 1950's inspired apron with her fabric. I love it. Jane has just started a new blog too so it would be great if you could go and have a look. Shes a fellow fabric addict and I've already admired the gorgeous blouse she recently made. Check it out at Handmade Jane

I love reading sewing blogs. Its really inspiring seeing what other people are making. Talking of inspiration while I was pondering what to make with my gorgeous new fabric I came across this on Kitschy Coo's blog

Yes - thats my fabric!!! Made into the most gorgeous tunic. I would NEVER have thought of using it for children's clothes but it looks fantastic. Thats what I love about blogging and sewing blogs - you can get some fantastic new ideas. If you don't follow Kitschy Coo's blog already you should. She is a sewing genius and very very funny.

Watch out for a giveaway on my blog later this week. I've got 3 copies of this fabulous new book to giveaway

Friday, 24 September 2010

I really need to sort that paintwork

I was just admiring this lovely photo of Izzy and Sam and the sunflower that we have been growing all summer which FINALLY decided to flower when I was struck by how shabby the porch at the front of our house looks. Look at that peeling paintwork! It definitely needs repainting. Don't you just hate it when that happens. Another thing to add to the list....

I stumbled upon a blog called twobecomefour recently and entered a giveaway for this

No I haven't got something to tell you!!

I thought it might be useful for my sister in law Sarah who has just had twins. I'm pleased to say that I won the book so I will be happily posting it on to Sarah and the lovely Alexis and Lisette shortly (they're half french!). If you know anyone with twins point them in the direction of this really helpful blog.

Thursday, 23 September 2010

Take a look at my whites!

I agreed to test this new washing powder called 'Boost your Wash'

because I wanted this red spotty peg bag (I have no shame!)

and also because meal times at our house often look like this

and food is always dropped on clothes - why is it always raspberries or cherries?

Anyway heres the science bit...

Boost Your Wash is a laundry enhancer with a unique formula, which is designed to transform your favourite washing detergent into a power cleaner, even at 30 degrees. Designed to work in partnership with washing powders, liquids or tablets, Boost Your Wash is the perfect addition to any laundry load when it needs an extra ‘boost' to remove stubborn stains, grime, smells and nasty nightmares! One in five washes needs an extra helping hand, whether it be to shift stains, kill germs or remove odours, Boost Your Wash containing antibacterial properties can solve all of these issues.  

Now I have to admit that I was skeptical about whether it would work or not but I subjected it to the Louise 'Wash Challenge' and as you can see from the photo below it did actually work rather well. The raspberry juice came out of Izzy's leggings (very unusual from past experience) and not a drop of pasta sauce can be seen on any of Sam's top anymore. Unfortunately I had run out of chocolate mini milk ice creams - now that would have been the ULTIMATE test. What do Walls put in those ice lollies? Anyway I digress - it really did seem to work on stains that are usually very stubborn.

I would say that this product is well worth a try if like me you have very young children who love food and seem to end up wearing most of it on their clothes! Its available in Ocado, Robert Dyas and Tesco.

Thursday, 16 September 2010

Tom and Jerry

Both my children are obsessed with Tom and Jerry at the moment.

My mum and dad have about a million more TV channels than us so Izzy caught an episode on one of the cartoon channels at their house a while ago and now requests Tom and Jerry whenever we visit. She talked about it so much that Jon bought her a Tom and Jerry DVD which her and Sam both now LOVE. I have to say I love it too. Izzy and Sam both roar with laughter when watching it and it does make me smile. The humour doesn't seem to date at all. I remember watching it a lot when I was a child in the 1970's and thinking it was really funny then.

I'm kind of aware that its slightly frowned upon now for some of the 'violence' in it and also for some of the stereotyping of the human characters e.g the black maid. I'm not sure how I feel about this. I understand people wanting to move away from this but as a child I was completely unaware of that aspect of it. Its the same with Enid Blyton books. I devoured Enid Blyton books when I was little. I was obsessed with the Famous Five and Secret Seven and the girls at St Claires and Mallory Towers. I want Izzy to read them and love them in the same way I did even though I know that some of the language and content is now considered to be sexist and racist.

My cousin was recently bought a set of Enid Blyton books for her birthday which she loved but was told by her school that she shouldn't be reading them! I must admit I was outraged when I heard and felt very protective of this part of my childhood. I realise that attitudes, values and language have (thankfully) moved on but they are of their time and were written when attitudes and values were very different. I would, of course, change any old fashioned offensive language I came across whilst reading them to my children. Actually what a great opportunity to discuss sexism and racism with children when they are older by reading the book and pointing out to them how times have changed and how society is different now.  The main thing they gave me was a love of reading and a love of books which I think is really important. So on balance I am going to continue watching Tom and Jerry and share Enid Blyton with my children and hope they love them as much as I did.

What do other people think. I'm really interested to hear your views.....

Sunday, 12 September 2010

The Kite Festival - Sunday

What can I say about Sunday apart from the fact that it rained....a lot!! It was such a shame as it really affected the numbers of people coming up to the festival and therefore coming into the craft marquee. We had a slow steady flow during the day but nothing like the numbers we had on Saturday.

We had 7 stalls remain from Saturday but some new stalls too which made it interesting. Having new stalls gave the market a completely different feel which I hadn't expected.We had the following people join us on Sunday...

Craftasmic with their amazing wooden kits. You really have to see them moving to appreciate how fab they were.

Coast West Organics with their organic wheatbags. I was very taken with their welly warmers!

Mimsical Pots and her beautiful stall full of hand made ceramics

I couldn't resist buying some buttons which came in a cute little bag made from recycled magazines.

Rock A Jewels who bought lots of lovely jewellery including this beautiful blue necklace

Get Noticed - another fellow fabric addict. Check out these gorgeous noticeboards and textiles

see the one at the front on the right. Thats now mine......yes this one

I've also got my eye on the kite one for Sam's room. I've already got two others -  one in my kitchen and one in Izzy's room!!

Happy Holistics. Lovely organic skin care products. A big thanks to Kelly and her lovely partner for bringing me cups of tea and entertaining my daughter with fairy talk and also for making her some fairy wands out of willow. You made her day!

Uchi who designs very cool t shirts, hoodies and prints. Jon has his eye on one of Uchi's prints for his 40th birthday.

I had a stall on my own on Sunday and tried a different display

It was such a shame about the weather. I think most stall holders did ok but again I noticed that people didn't seem to be spending much. Here are my thoughts on why for what they are worth...

1) People generally do not have so much disposable income at the moment. I know I am much more careful about impulse buys at the moment (although you wouldn't believe it from my blog!).

2) Its not close enough to Christmas so people are not yet in that present shopping frame of mind yet.

3) Its a big event. There are lots of other things to spend money on. If you come as a family and pay for parking, food for everyone, have a go on the bouncy castle, face painting, buy a kite etc etc you have probably already spent a fair amount of money before you get to the craft marquee.

4) There is no cash point on site. Once you've spent your money there is nowhere else to get some more!

4) People going to a kite festival  generally want to sit and watch the kites and soak up the atmosphere - they don't necessarily want to to buy stuff and carry it around all day.

All things to think about for next year. Organising the craft market was good fun but I did feel a responsibility towards the sellers and worried about whether they were having a good day and selling lots. I think the craft market was definitely a good addition to the kite festival and gave it an added dimension. We just need to think carefully about balancing costs for sellers against costs to the kite festival and weigh up whether its financially viable to run it every year so that everyone benefits.  I think if we do run it again I wouldn't have a stall myself. I just don't have the time to make things and organise it and I didn't like being stuck on my stall all day. I missed being able to see all the kites with my children and join in the fun!

Any comments from stall holders or people who attended the market (or anyone else) very welcome (good or bad!). Its all a big learning curve!!

Saturday, 11 September 2010

The Kite Festival - Saturday

I think I've finally recovered from the Kite Festival. It was a great experience but really hard work organising it all as well as trying to make stuff. Saturday was really busy as the weather was lovely. They think it was possibly one of the busiest days they have ever had which was great for me in terms of foot fall. Not so sure people were spending much money though sadly but more of that later. Cloth magazine ran a great kite making/decorating workshop in conjunction with The Makery. We had some fantastic stalls...

Miss Cuppy Cakes with her fantastic cupcakes. I had a lemon one and it was scrumptious!

Strawberry Annie with her fantastic tutu's and childrens hair accessories. She also makes gorgeous dresses. I now own one!!

Encanto with their beautiful jewellery

Electro27 who had a fantastic range of limited edition t shirts

From Little Seeds shared her stall with two other illustrators Tom Mead and Emma Dibben and had gorgeous textiles and prints.

I shared my stall with Cath from egiraffe. We talked about fabric.....a lot!

Culture Closet with gorgeous jewellery and hair accessories

Liz Clayton and Sophia Bloxham with gorgeous textiles and cards

Rainbow Makers and their range of craft kits for children

Sarah Kee - more lovely jewellery

The Swine Club. They meet and sew with wine!!

UK Event Photos with some stunning photography

Forever Living with their aloe vera products

Aklu Tee who designed these lovely t shirts with kites on. Check out those cute little babygros

George and Vee who had a lovely stall full of colourful jewellery and recycled sari's

Thanks to the annoying person who didn't turn up or let me know they weren't coming. They also had the nerve to email me this week to ask me to check out their new website!Some people!!

The kite festival has a party in the evening for the kite flyers so I was on site from 7.30am til midnight. It was a long day! I think most people did ok but people definitely didn't seem to be spending lots of money which is a shame and no reflection on the lovely items for sale. I have pondered this. More of my thoughts tomorrow in the second installment!